Salvation and the Spirit 5

The Aim of this devotional study is to grow in the knowledge and understanding the Holy Spirit’s function in our ongoing salvation.

Scripture

1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

1   Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2  For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

3  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4  that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5  not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6  that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.

7  For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8  Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Observation

  1. As Paul starts to conclude his letter to the church in Thessaloniki he addresses the cultural acceptance of Greco-Roman immorality. From this text try to summarize
  • his appeal to them (what should they do?) v1-7
  • the motive of his appeal to them (why listen?) v3, 7
  • the warning he gave them (what if they won’t obey?) v6
  • the urgency of the situation (why is this important?) v8
  1. What is the link between the appeal to holy conduct, the warning of punishment and the indwelling Holy Spirit?

Application and prayer

  1. Paul is writing to Christians, reminding them of previous instructions (v1-2). Do you find it strange that they be reminded to walk in holiness now that they are saved?  How do you relate, since we live a similar promiscuous world?
  2. Consider your own daily life with your thoughts, feelings, motives, relationships, actions, dreams – now think of Paul’s appeal “God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness… [He] gives us his Holy Spirit” (v7-8). What thoughts and feelings /convictions does that conjure up in you? Bring those thoughts and convictions in prayer to God – in confession or repentance or humble reflection.

James 4:4-5  Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

  1. Consider also the similar instruction of James 4:4-5 above. We have discovered in the previous posts on Salvation that God has saved us from the sin, death and the world, marking us as his own through the seal of the Holy Spirit – setting us aside to and for himself.  Spend time in prayer to reflect on this truth of salvation as being set aside for God, who has given his Spirit to live in us so we can have fellowship with him. How will this change your life today?  Write down your thoughts and talk it through with a friend.